H. V. Nanjundaiah

Hebbalalu Velpanur Nanjundaiah (1860 – 1920) was the acting Diwan of Mysore, founder and first Vice Chancellor of the Mysore University, senior judge of the Mysore State High Court and founding president of the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana.[1] He presided over Kannada Sahitya Sammelana from 1915 to 1917 held in Bangalore and Mysore. He was one of the first documented ethnographers in the world,[2] having authored a seminal book Mysore tribes and Castes in 1906,[3] among other books on legal matters.

H. V. Nanjundaiah

H V Nanjundaiya.jpg
Diwan of Mysore (acting)
Personal details
Alma materUniversity of Madras
H. V. Nanjundaiah in the conference held in Bangalore in 1915 which led to the creation of Kannada Saahithya Parishath

He earned an M.A. and a M.L. (law degree) from the Madras University. He died in 1920 at Mysore while still in office as vice-chancellor. He was a senior judge in the then Mysore State High Court before being the principal administrator and then acting Diwan of Mysore. He was one of the first residents of Malleshwaram, a locality in Bangalore, and his mansion was donated to the government to set up a girls' high school that still stands on 13th Cross, 4th Main Malleshwaram, Bangalore. His family still lives near the same Mansion turned School

Road sign at 6th main road, Malleshwaram, named after Nanjundaiah
H. V. Nanjundaiah donated his home to the government to create an educational institute for girls, which is what surrounds this building today.

Due to his exemplary service to the state, 6th main road, Malleshwaram is named after him.[citation needed]

He was also involved in the Indian Science Congress Association and served as the Vice president for Ethnography in 1915.[4]

Under his administrative recommendation Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who eventually became the second president of India, was brought to Mysore University from Madras Presidency College and they became close associates.[5]

Personal Life: He rose to high position despite challenges in his personal life. He came from a poor family and obtained qualifications in Madras. He lost two wives at a young age and lost a son. In the memory of the deceased son he translated a collection of poems of Victor Hugo entitled " Tears in the dark"


He was conferred the title of Rajamantra Praveena or Privy councillor by the Maharaja of Mysore, as he was the Maharaja's closest political and administrative advisor. During difficult administrative periods, he would function as the Acting Diwan of Mysore also.

Nanjundaiah was made a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1915, an honor of chivalry bestowed upon him by HRH King George V.[6]


Nanjundaiah's had great love for his Kannada language. He founded the Kannada Sahitya Parishat to promote Kannada through publishing books, organizing literary seminars, promoting research projects and organize an annual conference on Kannada literature called Kannada Sahithya Sammelana.[citation needed]

The body unanimously selected Nanjundaiah to chair the event and serve as president for three years. At the first gathering, he is reported to have spoken in English and said: "The objective of the Karnataka Sahitya Parishath is to develop Kannada language and literature and forge unity of all Kannadigas who are scattered; to establish a cordial relationship among them on the issue of language".[7]

He was a polyglot and published an English translation and compilation of Victor Hugo's French poems called 'Tears in the Night'.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Honouring Malleswaram's eminent residents". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Anthropology was Not All White Males: Early Ethnographies by Women and Persons of Color « Krazy Kioti – the Gene Anderson website". Krazykioti.com. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Journal & Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal - Google Books. 1916. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Tribute to the greatest teacher". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Dr VKRV Rao Digital Library" (PDF). Retrieved 24 October 2013.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "The truth that is Kannada". The Hindu. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2013.